Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Does Apple spend too much on ads?

That is the question posed, and affirmed, here. The reasoning is that Vista "dug its own grave", and Apple is piling on advertising OS X on Macs, and doing so for the sake of ego.

Does anyone remember when Windows ME "dug its own grave" crushing dominance, or Windows 3.1 turning people away from the more-advanced Mac OS because "it's what everyone is buying"? There were other reasons for the Mac's slide, but Apple's ads then were not effective in the least. Bewildering Performa variants and a muddled message, and the mainstream consumer forgot the product. PCs were it. The I'm a PC ads, the Seinfeld ads, even the Zune, is convincing when fatted with a marketing department as rich as Microsoft's. A deafening silence in response would be cataclysmic, on the iPod/iPhone front a seeming retreat, and for the Mac a sign of "another luxury good losing momentum", not the platform resurgent it is now.

Jobs wanted 10% of the market when he returned to Apple, and he said so explicitly in the Think Different era ("if we can convince 5 more people out of a hundred", when Mac share was less 5% than 2%.) Apple is there by certain measures, sure, but Jobs wanted to use the perquisites of 10% share, not achieve it and slide back.

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